Chimonanthus praecox (wintersweet)

When the depth of winter hits it is nice to know that a few plants will flower and Chimonanthus praecox is a winter flowering shrub originally from China and is regarded as one of the best flowering plants for the garden in winter.

An additional bonus is the fragrance which fills the garden on a winters day.

Flowering on bare stems the wonderful yellow flowers are simple but very pretty. These are a plants that cope well with frosts, however given a sunny aspect in winter then they really thrive and can be shown to their best.

Originally from high in the mountainous areas of China they have been in cultivation for over 250 years.

One drawback is that these plants do take a number of years to settle in and flower, they are a long term project, 4 - 6 years to flower, but well worth the wait.

Left to its own devices Chimonanthus praecox will reach around 2m in height, and form a nice rounded shrub. When grown against a wall or trellis it will reach 3m +. Propagate by layering, arial layering seems to work well.


Chimonanthus praecox requires a humus rich well drained soil and a sunny position. Try Chimonanthus (wintersweet) against a south facing wall. Chimonanthus have large fragrant flowers in winter.

Prune to shape after flowering

Chimonanthus are available for sale from the following nurseries

TAN-Y-LLYN Nurseries
Meifod Powys SY22 6YB
ph: 01938 500370